My name is Alice Fleurkens. Imagine my amazement when I visited my brother-in-law’s house in the Netherlands and discovered that he had turned his very tiny backyard into an Arizona oasis. He had been there and loved that landscape so much that he decided he wanted it for his backyard.
Gravel mulch and plants that look like they would be at home in a much warmer climate create the illusion of Arizona in the Netherlands. The climates of the two locations could hardly be more different, with much of the Netherlands getting more than three times as much rain as Phoenix, Arizona, and the usual weather in the Netherlands being cool and cloudy rather than sunny and dry. But with careful design and plant choices, you can mimic the look of just about any climate, no matter where you garden. Potted palms add to the effect, and, of course, can be moved to sheltered spots to overwinter.
Huge yucca plants give a desert look, but they can adapt to many climates. The large one in the center looks to be Yucca rostrata, which is hardy to Zone 5, provided it has good drainage, and will develop a tall trunk over time.
This huge palm tree is probably Trachycarpus fortunei, which is one of the most cold-hardy palm trees and will thrive even in climates with cool summers, like that of the Netherlands. It is hardy to Zone 7.
More yuccas and an adobe wall complete the illusion of a garden in the southwestern United States.
A wonderful little spot to sit and enjoy this desert garden in a cool, wet place.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.